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02 Aug 2017
the luminous list tech

The Luminous List | August 2017

Always ones to keep things fresh, we’re trialling a new feature – the Luminous List. Each month, we’ll share our top five trending items from the world of tech, digital, gadgets, and the media. In the interest of balance, we’ll also divulge what made us roll our eyes so hard we were in danger of going blind. Enjoy!

 

Hot stuff

Tech City News rebrands to UK Tech News 

Tech City News has always been one of our favourite sources of reliable and relatable UK tech news. Previously, the publication focussed on London’s tech scene. Now, UK Tech News covers tech stories from around the UK – and we love them even more for it.

As well as covering tech news, UKTN is building up a fantastic archive of advice pieces from thought leaders across the tech and digital sectors. We can’t wait!

Never heard of TCN/UKTN before? Try their excellent guide to the Norwich tech scene for size.

 

Universal broadband for everyone in the UK 

On 30 July, the government announced that homes and businesses around the UK are set to benefit from universal high-speed broadband. The initiative, which is being voluntarily provided by BT, will give everyone the right to request a high-speed connection of at least 10 Megabits per second (Mbps).

This is no small feat from BT: it’ll cost an estimated investment of £450m – £600m. It’s estimated that the UK will have 99% coverage by 2020.

Here’s what Culture Secretary Karen Bradley had to say:

“The government is taking action to ensure that people everywhere in the UK can get a decent broadband connection as soon as possible. We warmly welcome BT’s offer and now will look at whether this or a regulatory approach works better for homes and businesses.”

Thanks, Karen!

 

Real-time translation earphones 

Though we may be partial to the odd cat video (we’re only human, after all), it’s clips of clever tech that truly get us oohing and ahhing in the Luminous office.

Over the last month, it’s this footage of TimeKettle’s WT2 Real-Time Translation Earphones that has got us the most excited.

How do they work? Well, when you want to speak to someone of a different language, you both pop one of these little devices in your ear. You both chat normally in your native language, and the device will translate for you! There’s a little bit of a lag, and the gadget can be let down by patchy wi-fi. However, this is a big step towards bringing people from all around the world closer together.

Check out the video below from TechCrunch to see how it works.

 

InsurTech 

A few weeks ago, we published an article about how technology is changing the way the insurance industry operates.

We have to admit, insurance isn’t generally a topic that thrills us. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, it turns out that InsurTech has some pretty interesting innovation involved.

Check out our article for the full story…

 

Bitcoin Cash 

When we made our tech predictions for 2017 back in January, we thought Blockchain would become more widely used, but Bitcoin wouldn’t. As it turns out, we were wrong.

In fact, miners have just developed a new type of Bitcoin – Bitcoin Cash. The new currency was developed as a measure to increase the capacity of Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain. Bitcoin Cash blocks can be as large as 8MB, which should allow for faster transactions and may encourage it to grow in popularity.

Perhaps we’ll all be mining our own Bitcoin soon?!

If you were wondering how you mine Bitcoin, by the way, here’s your answer:

“Mining involves computers being tasked with solving difficult mathematical problems in order to authorise transactions on the blockchain.

“Miners receive new bitcoins as a reward for this work – making it lucrative – and it has also been something open to individuals in the past, because the cost of small scale mining equipment has been relatively low.”

 

And finally… the bad stuff 

High street iced coffee 

We were big fans until we read BBC Watchdog’s investigation. Gag.

 

Dodgy hashtags 

As marketers, nothing makes us cringe harder than a dodgy hashtag. Cardinal sins include hashtagging #every #single #word, and forgetting that punctuation marks break up a hashtag. We recommend this article from Social Media Today for more info on terrible hashtag mistakes, and how to avoid them!

 

Did you enjoy reading the Luminous List? Let us know on Twitter!

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